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HIDRIA SPACEFOLK

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland


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Hidria Spacefolk picture
Hidria Spacefolk biography
This group of five self-taught musicians will certainly capture the attention of OZRIC TENTACLES fans. Their music is loaded with textures and colours that leave most space rock bands sounding like a sample machine stuck in loop mode. It's actually going somewhere: on all of their albums, the tracks evolve continuously, with the music occasionally returning to specific themes but with something new each time. Overall, their material sounds like a less guitar-dominated OZRIC and without the heavy techno influence.

Their three albums are pure instrumental excursions into psychedelia propelled by Tim Blake-like droning and burbling synths, Steve Hillage-like guitar arpeggios, pulsating bass lines, phasing sitars and precise drumming with the occasional JETHRO TULL flute work (simultaneous flute blowing and vocalizing) and some infectious grooving rhythm lines that make you want to move around, bang your head and dance nonsensically. A fact worth mentioning: the acoustic elements on all of their albums are just as important as the synthesized ones, giving their sound a slightly Middle-Eastern or Far-East flavour.

Trippy, energetic, hypnotic space rock highly recommended to fans of OZRIC TENTACLES in particular, but will also appeal to those who don't usually like the genre as the band knows how to diversify and never stays in one place.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Buy HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Music


AstronauticaAstronautica
Import
Hidria Records
Audio CD$21.99
SymbiosisSymbiosis
Nordic Notes 2006
Audio CD$41.99 (used)
BalansiaBalansia
Nordic Notes 2005
Audio CD$10.49
$35.00 (used)
SymetriaSymetria
Import
Nordic Notes 2007
Audio CD$19.79
Hdrsf 1Hdrsf 1
Nordic Notes 2006
Audio CD$21.99
$71.77 (used)
Balansia by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK (2005-10-17)Balansia by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK (2005-10-17)
Nordic Notes
Audio CD$38.15
Hidria Spacefolk 1 by Hidria SpacefolkHidria Spacefolk 1 by Hidria Spacefolk
Nordic Notes
Audio CD$112.59
Live Eleven AMLive Eleven AM
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$29.99
$25.00 (used)

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HIDRIA SPACEFOLK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 96 ratings
Symbiosis
2002
3.62 | 64 ratings
Balansia
2004
3.83 | 77 ratings
Symetria
2007
3.66 | 61 ratings
Astronautica
2012

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 13 ratings
Live Eleven a.m.
2005
4.03 | 11 ratings
Live at Heart
2007

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 5 ratings
Violently Hippy Remixes
2004

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 25 ratings
HDRSF-01 (EP)
2001
4.00 | 2 ratings
Cycloop
2012

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live Eleven a.m.  by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Live, 2005
4.10 | 13 ratings

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Live Eleven a.m.
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First live album by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, "Live Eleven a.m." features three tracks from "Symbiosis" and five from "Balansia", which is almost played in its entirety. Not particularly changing from the original studio version nor really extended either, their live versions are nonetheless a bit more punchy and aggressive. With "Balansia", the Finnishs' musical style was already becoming less folk and more rock-oriented. The performance itself is excellent, and the audience really shows its enthusiasm.

My only regret would be that there are no tracks from their first EP, "HDRSF-01", which could have bring a little more variety with folk/ethnic sonorities. Anyway, those who enjoyed the albums will enjoy this live release. Not sure that this disc should be listened at 11 A.M. though, this may result in a rather strange lunch...

As a conclusion, "Live Eleven a.m." should please every space rock and OZRIC TENTACLES fans. If you don't know HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, this live album is also a good place to discover the band.

 Astronautica by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 61 ratings

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Astronautica
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hidria Spacemetal

Five years after their last studio album, here comes the awaited "Astronautica". The finnish space rockers become more and more ferocious year after year. The music is not very folky or ethnic anymore. Does this mean HIDRIA SPACEFOLK mutated into a complete copycat of OZRIC TENTACLES and lost their identity? Not really. While their guitar sound is definitely heavier, the band explores new sonorities and musical directions. As you will see, there will be a few surprises in this opus...

The opener "Ad Astra" is simply bombastic! Cosmic metal in the style of a boosted HAWKWIND, and featuring a great finale. A modern space-rock classic. "Cycloop" has also very agressive riffs and alternates mystical and dark atmospheres with discrete softer moments. The 12 minutes "Badding" is the longest track of the record, and also one of the most progressive by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK. It's a patchwork of different ambiances, such as melancholic, space, pop rock, metal or heroic. It even contains some jazzy keyboards! Although less remarkable than the other tracks, "Endymion" is also nice with its strange opening. However, a bigger surprise approaches with the ending "Seirenes". This composition is the heaviest of the record, and sounds like a lost obscure doom metal song with its gloomy organ.

This is definitely not the space-folk we knew on "HDRSF-01" and "Symbiosis" anymore. Not entirely space-rock either, it shows the finnishs emancipating from their initial OZRICs influences by incorporating other genres such as symphonic, jazz or metal. In fact, in ten years, the band's style has more changed than their british elders'. HIDRIA SPACEFOLK is just building their own new identity.

Anyway, "Astronautica" is quite recommended to HAWKWIND and OZRIC TENTACLES fans. It will be interesting to see which musical directions will be taken for the next album...

 Balansia  by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.62 | 64 ratings

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Balansia
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

Second studio effort from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, "Balansia" shows a slight inspiration inflexion compared to their previous opus. Despite longer tracks, the music is now less ethnic and more electronic. There is also fewer variety concerning the percussions and the sonorities. By losing a piece of their identity, the finnish space rockers sound more and more similar to OZRIC TENTACLES. Nonetheless, the composition quality and the listening pleasure are still present.

The opener "Kokkola" is cool, although a bit lengthy. "Modus operand hermetik" is an ambient electronic oriented piece, with discrete trumpet incursions. The best passage of the disc is "Astroban", a 8 minutes track featuring various ambiances. Opening with a spacey strange introduction, it alternates energic rythms with short jazzy and funky moments. "Pajas" sounds sometimes very 70's krautrock-ish.

The guitar weaves spacey patterns over hypnotic electronic sequences on the "Pako originaux". Cool, but a little long. The 14 minutes "Tarapita" is the longest track of the record, and one of bests. It starts with bizarre sounds to later display an egyptian ambiance with discrete trumpet incursions. Then appears a nice bass line, unveiling a dark cosmic passage before the calm finale.

Despite a few lengthy moments, "Balansia" remains a quite good album from the finnish band, however a little less innovative and personal than its predecessor, "Symbiosis". Recommended to OZRIC TENTACLES and space-rock fans.

 Symbiosis by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.98 | 96 ratings

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Symbiosis
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ethnic OZRIC

First studio album from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, "Symbiosis" is in continuity with their free debut EP and confirms the band's talents. The musical style is still mainly inspired by OZRIC TENTACLES and, to a lesser extent, GONG: an ambient psychedelic / space rock jungle, but in a softer, folkier manner than their british elder brothers. The compositions are rather homogeneous, do not contain any vocals and feature numerous various instruments.

For example, the opening track, "Terra Hidria" has some middle-eastern touches, while the short ambient transition "Reversion" introduces "Kaneh Bosm", an electronic piece with indian sitar. The dark "Kaikados" alternates agressive and acoustic passages, whereas "Nasha Universo" is softer with its flute incursions. Back to middle-eastern lands with "Jahwarp", maybe a bit too lengthy and repetitive. "Agents Entropos" possesses a catchy hypnotic bass line, and "I- Mantra" could stand for a lost OZRICs tune. The last and longest track, "Pangaia", also sounds like their elder british brothers, however displaying a more vaporous and mystical atmosphere.

"Symbiosis" is a consistant first album, propelling the finnish band to the front of the modern space rock scene. The musical style and quality of the compositions are constant, while the ambiance and the inspiration are present. A good record to start with, and which should please all OZRIC TENTACLES or GONG fans. The succession is insured.

 Astronautica by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 61 ratings

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Astronautica
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Finland's answer to OZRIC TENTACLES updated their sound for the band's fourth studio album, recorded almost half a decade after their previous "Symetria". Earlier efforts more or less relayed the same psychotropic torch carried by their Somerset forefathers: vigorous Middle Eastern guitar jams colored with auxiliary flutes and synthesizers. The formula here may have been the same (minus the woodwinds), but the music was more streamlined than before, and at times closer in spirit to mainstream crossover Prog.

The difference between the two kindred bands was always in their relative level of aggression. While the Ozrics appear content to glide among the stars in a solar-powered trance, the Spacefolk prefer to kick serious cosmic butt. The guitars are louder and the rhythms stronger, as heard in the dynamic head-rush of the album opener "Ad Astra". Even more typical is the fast and furious "Cycloops", a juggernaut of concentrated intensity held aloft by soaring anti-gravity guitar sustain: Hidria Spacefolk at their energetic best.

The lavish, almost laughably mind-expanding artwork is a reflection of the band's renewed musical ambition, heavier than ever but also surprisingly lyrical. Note the new, user-friendly melodies in "Badding", the longest track on the album (and also its least focused). There are moments when the arrangement of music is almost too accessible, sounding not unlike a genuine song, without vocals but suggesting a conventional verse/chorus structure.

I have to applaud the band's attempt to climb out of the same rut the Ozrics have been plowing for decades, even if it meant diluting their elemental power of their music with added structure and sophistication (the album is stronger when the template is simpler: fewer chords equal more adrenalin). The Finns have long been named as rightful heirs to the Ozric throne, should Ed Wynne ever decide to abdicate. But it sounds like the Spacefolk have other plans.

 Astronautica by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 61 ratings

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Astronautica
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3½ stars really.

The lastest album by the Finnish masters of instrumental Space Rock is bursting with energy, and the cover art indeed suits the music very well. The opener 'Ad Astra' starts with a massive- sounding intro riff and continues in the familiar OZRIC TENTACLES -reminding trippy heights. Their sound is however harder rocking than Ozrics, with a stronger rhythm section and louder guitars. The momentarily calmer part somewhere around the sixth minute comes very handy in order to make the music feel less monotonous speeding ahead in one determined direction.

'Cycloops' is similarily mostly in high tempo with some brief slow-downs. As if the intergalactic bus is changing its passengers along the way. I continue this image of mine for the final minutes: "This is your captain speaking. There's an asteroid rain ahead and we have to use an extra protection shield." Or maybe that's not so fitting image after all, since there's no majestic arrival in the end.

It's quite strange to see a Space Rock piece titled as 'Badding', which is the nickname of a bygone popular singer (mainly of the seventies, but his certain worn-out hits are still heavily played in the radio... You guess it, I really don't like Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki!). I fail to see a logical connection in the music. Anyway, this longest track (12:20) starts promisingly with jazzy flavours of electric piano and vibes / xylosynth. Also the bright guitar sound can be spotted at first, but later on the soundwall gets thicker. The vibes - or whatever - remain there nicely. In the halfway there's again a calmer moment, this time slightly longer and with delicate New Age -synths, but the return to the HAWKWIND-reminding normal (fast) speed nearly becomes monotonous by now.

Equally fast piece 'Endymion' (5:55 - the shortest one) has bitingly riffing guitars and the hectic, bubbling trippiness in the OZRIC style. 'Seirenes' (11:15) continues the album's overall mood without notable changes, that is, hectic, trippy and rather thick soundwall, with those familiar slower moments along the way.

I haven't yet listened to the whole HIDRIA output in order to evaluate Astronautica against it, but I have a feeling that in the earlier years there were more fresh and jazzy details in the playing. For example the flute is sadly missing here altogether. This album offers A class Space Rock on an international scale and is technically very solid, but maybe the sidesteps away from the usual formula are too scarce on the long run. Wider differences between tracks would give the album that final big enjoyment. I believe this won't become my favourite album by this band, but it's worth recommending nevertheless.

 Astronautica by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 61 ratings

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Astronautica
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ebil0505

4 stars After buying this album solely for its cover, I was delighted to find the music contained therein matched the artwork quite nicely. A trip in itself, "Astronautica" is an instrumental album lush with spacious sounds that drip with satisfyingly psychedelic musings. While this is no great masterpiece of progressive rock, I would not hesitate in declaring it an excellent addition to my collection due chiefly to the likeness of the music in regards to the very definition of the genre. If someone were to ask me "what is prog?" I'd turn to this album.

Hidria Spacefolk demonstrate a heavy background of driving rhythm sections that keep the album exciting. There is an abundance of head-bobbing melodies which isolate the songs in their own right. "Ad Astra" opens with the feeling of one beset on a mystical quest or journey; no doubt related to whatever is happening on the album cover, which is honestly wonderful to look at. "Cycloop" may be the least exciting on here but that does not mean it should be ignored. Better to know the full album than just four songs, in my honest opinion. "Badding" is my personal favorite because it appears to be the most mature. It truly progresses into a wonderful song that stands out immediately after the first listen. "Endymion" incorporates the use of bells in an interestingly successful way. Another great walk through space. "Seirenes" is close to the third track in maturity. There are several change-ups that keep the song fresh and invigorating. It ends the album almost abruptly and in the tone like posing a question, allowing us to interpret the final chapter of whatever story has been traversing our mind the past 46 minutes.

While most people (myself included) would tell you not to judge a book by its cover, you are free to do so here. A psychedelic adventure through space and probably time as well. This album is an excellent one, and I would recommend it to any fan of the genre it belongs to.

 HDRSF-01 (EP) by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.66 | 25 ratings

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HDRSF-01 (EP)
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In Finland there has been a strong scene of instrumentally oriented Psychedelic / Space Rock since the nineties; I would even guess that category to be the biggest one, concerning PA's Finnish artists. The Helsinki-based HIDRIA SPACEFOLK is already one of the most productive of our newer space bands, and this EP was their debut recording in front of international prog audience, spread also as a free download - which explains the relatively big number of reviews here.

The 9½-minute opening track 'Amos Ame' is simply gorgeous. The playing is lively and fresh, actually approaching jazz / fusion in some way. The flute and acoustic guitar are perfect additions into the OZRIC-reminding trippy sound. 'Kafar-I' also works well even though it's more repetitive than jazzy. 'Sindran Rastafan' sounds very much like OZRIC TENTACLES. Is that a fault, especially on a debut? And in fact, in closer listening, one can hear some differences in the sounds of these bands. Still I wouldn't pick this track among my favourites.

'Gnomen' (4:02) is probably HIDRIA at the shortest. Starting with hand drums it grows into more electronic, JARRE-like soundscape, accompanied by jawharp and didgeridoo to give a world music flavour. Hmm, this track doesn't quite flow, easily the weakest one here. 'Marastronaut' is another track I'm not fond of, its edgier sound is slightly unpleasant and it lacks the freshness of the CD's first half. Though there are one or two tracks worth of high rating in their own rights, this 35-minute CD falls short of four stars. I also would have loved to hear more of the flute, but Teemu Väisänen was only a guest musician. A promising start anyway!

 Symbiosis by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.98 | 96 ratings

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Symbiosis
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If only the album panned out to be of the quality standards of ''Pangaea'', then I would say that SYMBIOSIS is one of the great examples of modern space rock. It's got the world music influence and synthscapes of the Ozric Tentacles at their best, but throws enough rock into the mix to be different. It's got discernible sections of different dynamic levels and the whole transitioning of the piece is rather smooth. It's easily the highlight of the record.

Then the rest of the album hits and only ''Kanem Boss'' and ''I-Mantra'' can even sniff what ''Pangaea'' did. That ''same-y'' feeling that I get by the time ''Jahwarp'' is rather disappointing considering the psychedelic promise of the epic finale. It's one of those decent albums that really frustrates me when I try to describe it because there's plenty of great potential in the whole bubbly space rock, but the dynamic level never really elevates except on the last track.

 Symetria by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.83 | 77 ratings

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Symetria
Hidria Spacefolk Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Hidria Spacefolk's latest studio album the band finally emerge from the shadow of Ozric Tentacles and establish their own sound. The fast-paced guitar-centred soundscapes on Symetria recall the textures of the faster and less languid post-rock bands, so the end result is an interesting fusion - space rock flavoured with post-rock, emerging at around the same time that the underrated Maserati were experimenting with post-rock tempered with space rock. With a harder edge to it and slightly more metal influence than Hidria's previous albums (and the Ozrics' own work), this is an intriguing, muscular space rock album which updates the genre admirably.
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